Category Archives: Awards

The Man Booker Prize 2017 Longlist

BookStackThis year’s ‘Man Booker Dozen’, the 13 novels on the longlist for the Man Booker Prize has been announced.

It’s an exciting list. Previous winner Arundhati Roy is there with her long awaited second novel. There are well known names -Ali Smith, Zadie Smithand Sebastian Barry. Three are debut novels:  Elmet by Fiona Mozley, History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund, and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.  

The judges said ”‘Only when we’d finally selected our 13 novels did we fully realise the huge energy, imagination and variety in them as a group.  The longlist showcases a diverse spectrum — not only of voices and literary styles but of protagonists too, in their culture, age and gender.  Nevertheless we found there was a spirit common to all these novels: though their subject matter might be turbulent, their power and range were life-affirming – a tonic for our times.”

We have seven of the thirteen in stock in our libraries and of course we will buy any title we don’t have if you place a request for it. We have also just added Sebastian Barry’s book Days without end to our Reader Group sets. The shortlist will be announced on  13 September.

The full list:

4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster (US) (Faber & Faber)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Ireland) (Faber & Faber)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (US) (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Pakistan-UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (Ireland) (Canongate)
Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (UK) (4th Estate)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (UK) (JM Originals)
The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy (India) (Hamish Hamilton)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (US) (Bloomsbury)
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (UK-Pakistan) (Bloomsbury)
Autumn by Ali Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (UK) (Hamish Hamilton)
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (US) (Fleet)

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Baillie Gifford Prize

 

sands

 

When international lawyer Philippe Sands received an invitation to deliver a lecture in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, he began to uncover a series of extraordinary historical coincidences. It set him on a quest that would take him halfway around the world in an exploration of the origins of international law and the pursuit of his own secret family history, beginning and ending with the last day of the Nuremberg trial.

Part historical detective story, part family history, part legal thriller, Philippe Sands guides us between past and present as several interconnected stories unfold in parallel. The first is the hidden story of two Nuremberg prosecutors who discover, only at the end of the trial, that the man they are prosecuting may be responsible for the murder of their entire families in Nazi-occupied Poland, in and around Lviv. The two prosecutors, Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin, were remarkable men, whose efforts led to the inclusion of the terms ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘genocide’ in the judgement at Nuremberg. The defendant, Hans Frank, Hitler’s personal lawyer and Governor-General of Nazi-occupied Poland, turns out to be an equally compelling character.

The lives of these three men lead Sands to a more personal story, as he traces the events that overwhelmed his mother’s family in Lviv and Vienna during the Second World War. At the heart of this book is an equally personal quest to understand the roots of international law and the concepts that have dominated Sands’ work as a lawyer. Eventually, he finds unexpected answers to his questions about his family, in this meditation on the way memory, crime and guilt leave scars across generations, and the haunting gaps left by the secrets of others.

Also on the shortlist were

Svetlana Alexievich, Second-hand Time (translated by Bela Shayevich), a book about the collapse of the USSR and post-Soviet society based on the stories of ordinary men and women.

Margo Jefferson, Negroland: A Memoir. Margo Jefferson spent her childhood among Chicago’s black elite.  With privilege came expectation. Reckoning with the strictures and demands of the society she calls ‘Negroland’ at crucial historical moments – the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of post-racial America – Jefferson charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions.

Hisham Matar, The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land In Between. Hisham Matar was nineteen when his father was kidnapped and taken to prison in Libya. He would never see him again. Twenty-two years later, the fall of Gaddafi meant he was finally able to return to his homeland. In this memoir, the author takes us on an illuminating journey, both physical and psychological; a journey to find his father and rediscover his country. 

Not the Booker Prize

 

 

The longlist for the Man Booker Prize was recently announced and you can read more about it and find the list at themanbookerprize.com.  It’s the leading literary award in the English language of course, but this year I’m finding the Guardian’s Not The Booker Award more exciting. They have an enormous longlist of nearly 100 books which will be whittled down to a shortlist by reader’s votes. The full list is at theguardian.com/books

Each reader must vote by 14 August for two books, from two different publishers by commenting on the article. Include the word ‘vote’ in the post and a short review of one of the two books. I can see lots of books I want to read on the list and I’m sure as I explore the suggestions I’ll find a few more.

The prize is a little short of the £50,000 that the Man Booker prize winner will get..” The author of the winning book will receive a Guardian mug. They may not want it, but there’s nothing we can do about that. No prizes will be awarded to readers for submitting a nomination, voting or judging, but you will have our undying gratitude for taking part, cracking jokes about the entries or sniping from the sidelines, as you see fit.”

Man Booker Dozen

Booker 1 Booker 2 Booker 3 Booker 4 Booker 5

The Man Booker Dozen, the list of 13 novels longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction has been announced. As usual, the press coverage has been about a controversy rather than the quality of the writing: this time, the fact that more American than British writers have been nominated now the range of the prize has been altered to any book publshed in English. Her’s an article from The Telegraph ‘American dominance of Man Booker prize longlist confirms worst fears’ Some of the comments sound rather like sour grapes from people who think they have less chance of winning but there is perhaps a genuine problem that major American prizes are not open to writers from around the world. Do you think prizes are better when limited to certain groups or better open to all?
Meanwhile, what do you think of the list? Has it inspired you to try any of the books? We have 5 of the thirteen titles in stock at the moment and will happily buy any of the rest if requested.
The shortlist is announced on 15 September and the winner on 13 October.

The full list is
Bill Clegg (US) – Did You Ever Have a Family
Anne Enright (Ireland) – The Green Road
Marlon James (Jamaica) – A Brief History of Seven Killings
Laila Lalami (US) – The Moor’s Account
Tom McCarthy (UK) – Satin Island
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria) – The Fishermen
Andrew O’Hagan (UK) – The Illuminations
Marilynne Robinson (US) – Lila
Anuradha Roy (India) – Sleeping on Jupiter
Sunjeev Sahota (UK) – The Year of the Runaways
Anna Smaill (New Zealand) – The Chimes
Anne Tyler (US) – A Spool of Blue Thread
Hanya Yanagihara (US) – A Little Life

Desmond Elliott Prize

Desmond-Elliott_longlist-books

It’s always good to discover a new author and one of the best places to start is the Desmond Elliott Prize. The longlist for 2015 has been announced and includes books by debut authors that are already bestsellers and exciting titles that need this list to attract the attention they deserve. I loved The Miniaturist for it’s atmospheric portrait of 17th century Amsterdam, and The Bees (also on the Baileys Prize shortlist) is competing with A Song for Issy Bradley to be my next read. Have you read any of these books? Do post your views and reviews. The full list is

• The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah (Doubleday)

• The Bees by Laline Paull (Fourth Estate)

• Chop Chop by Simon Wroe (Viking)

• Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (Viking)

• Glass by Alex Christofi (Serpent’s Tail)

• The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (Picador)

• Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (Fig Tree)

• Randall by Jonathan Gibbs (Galley Beggar Press)

• A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray (Hutchinson)

• The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth (Unbound)

The Prize is presented in the name of the late, acclaimed publisher and literary agent Desmond Elliott, whose passion for finding and nurturing new authors is perpetuated by his Prize. Now in its eighth year, the award has an established record for spotting up-and-coming novelists in the UK and Ireland and propelling them to greater recognition and success. The 2014 winner was Eimear McBride, author of the much-garlanded and critically lauded A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. Other past winners include Grace McCleen, Anjali Joseph, Edward Hogan and Ali Shaw.
The shortlist will be announced on 15th May and the winner on 1st July.

Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction

Baileys

The longlist for the Bailey’s Women’s prize for Fiction has been announced. I would love to be able to read every book on this list but I know I will have to be selective. What a great list to choose from though. There is Ali Smith and Rachel Cusk, both also nominated for the Folio Prize, Sarah Waters and Anne Tyler who already have so many fans and Emma Healey whose debut novel Elizabeth is missing was described as outstanding by the Costa Prize judges. There are quirky choices like The Bees by Laline Paull which is on my reading list already and Pythonesque comedy in The Table of Less Valued Knights by Marie Phillips, and more than one novel described as post-apocalyptic. Pictured above are the judges Shami Chakrabarti, the Director of Library, Laura Bates, writer and Founder of The Everyday Sexism Project, Grace Dent, Columnist and Broadcaster, novelist Helen Dunmore and news presenter Cathy Newman.

Baileys 2

Copies of all the books on the longlist will shortly be avilable in libraries so start reading and see if you agree with the judges. The shortlist will be announced on 13 April and the winner on 3 June.

Rachel Cusk: Outline

Lissa Evans: Crooked Heart

Patricia Ferguson: Aren’t We Sisters?

Xiaolu Guo: I Am China

Samantha Harvey: Dear Thief

Emma Healey: Elizabeth is Missing

Emily St. John Mandel: Station Eleven

Grace McCleen: The Offering

Sandra Newman: The Country of Ice Cream Star

Heather O’Neil: The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

Laline Paull: The Bees

Marie Phillips: The Table of Less Valued Knights

Rachel Seiffert: The Walk Home

Kamila Shamsie: A God in Every Stone

Ali Smith: How to be Both

Sara Taylor: The Shore

Anne Tyler: A Spool of Blue Thread

Sarah Waters: The Paying Guests

Jemma Wayne: After Before

PP Wong: The Life of a Banana

Any cover as long as it’s black…

TW running TW rising TW Moor TW meadowland

TW hawk TW claxton TW Ash TW brit

I haven’t come across the Thwaites Wainwright Prize before.It’s only in its second year and is to promote and reward books about the general outdoors, nature and UK-based travel. Literary writing about nature has a fine history in the UK from The Rev Gilbert White’s The Natural History of Selborne (1789) onwards and the longlist for this prize shows some interesting additions to the genre.
There is H is for Hawk of course, a feature on every literary prize list at the moment, Adam Thorpe writing about Silbury Hill and Oliver Rackham on Ash trees. Counting Sheep by Philip Walling sounds interesting: full of stories, history, trivia and humour, Counting Sheep explores Britain through its most influential animal.

The prizes is sponsored by Thwaites Brewery in assocaition with The National Trust and BBC Countryfile, in memory of Alfred Wainwright. The shortlist will be announced on 26th March and the winner on 22nd April. The full longlist is
Brittannia Obscura: Mapping Hidden Britain by Joanne Parker
Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet by Mark Cocker
Counting Sheep by Philip Walling
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Meadowland by John Lewis-Stempel
On Silbury Hill by Adam Thorpe
Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place by Philip Marsden
Running Free: A Runner’s Journey Back to Nature by Richard Askwith
The Ash Tree by Oliver Rackham
The Moor by William Atkins
The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs by Tristan Gooley
Walking Home by Clare Balding

Costa Book Award

Costa

The category winners for the Costa Book Award have been announced. The Costa Book Award (previously the Whitbread Prize) is open to authors who live in the UK and Ireland and is the only award to recognise books across five different categories.

In the Children’s Book category Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders, was called “a modern masterpiece” by the judges for moving Nesbitt’s original characters into the trenches of the First World War. The book also revives Nesbitt’s character the Psammead, whom the grown children must help to return home. I’m sure this is a brilliantly written but but I’m not sure I can face reading it as I suspect it will be heartbreaking.

Ali Smith’s How to be Both, shortlisted for the Booker, won in the Novel category. This sounds fascinating- it has two different beginnings, one in the 15th century and another in the present day. Which one you start with depends on which copy you buy or borrow. The judges praised Smith’s narrative concept and the “consummate ease and daring” with which she deployed it.

Emma Healey’s debut novel, Elizabeth Is Missing, which is narrated by a 90-year-old woman with dementia, won the First Novel award. Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Back home she finds the place horribly unrecognizable – just like she sometimes thinks her daughter Helen is a total stranger. But there’s one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it. Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about. Everyone, except Maud . . .

In the Biography category, Helen Macdonald wins a second prize with H is for Hawk which has already won the Samuel Johnson Prize. Macdonald, an academic at Cambridge university, immersed herself in falconry following the death of her father. Her account explains how she dealt with grief by training her own goshawk Mabel.

The Costa Poetry Award was won by Jonathan Edwards for his collection, My Family and Other Superheroes, in which celebrities and fictional characters such as Sophia Loren and Evil Knievil collide with reflections on the social architecture of working class Welsh valleys.

The Book of the Year will be announced on 27 January. Have you read any of these titles? Which do you think will win?

The award nobody wants

BS Flanagan BS Murakami BS Smith BS Walsh BS Wark

What does Man Booker prize winner Richard Flanagan have in common with popular novelist Wilbur Smith? What links journalist and TV presenter Kirsty Wark with cult Japanese writer Haruki Murakami? It’s the one award nobody wants, the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award from the Literary Review. The award aims to draw attention to “poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them”. It’s a strong list this year with another Booker winner Ben Okri and Pulitzer prize-winning author Michael Cunningham also in competition. I won’t quote any of the descriptions nomin
ated for the prize but if you’d like to find out more here is a link to a Guardian article with full details and a poll for you to vote.

National Book Awards shortlists announced

National-Book-AwardsPresented in association with high street campaign Books Are My Bag, the National Book Awards 2014 will celebrate writers in 10 categories. Readers will be asked to vote for their favourite from each of the category winners to win the Specsavers National Book of the Year Award which will be decided by a public poll on the official National Book Awards website, with the winner announced on 26th December, with a reception to follow at 11 Downing Street, residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Man Booker-shortlisted Ali Smith, Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction winner Eimear McBride, and Costa Book of the Year winner Nathan Filer are among the authors vying at the Specsavers National Book Awards this year.with nominees also including Mary Berry, Caitlin Moran, David Walliams and John Cleese. The full list of those shortlisted and the categories is below. See more here 

SHORTLISTS FOR THE SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS 2014 

Crime/Thriller Book of the Year:Horowitz

• Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz (Orion)

• The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (Little Brown Book Group)

• I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (Transworld)

• The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah (HarperCollins UK)

• Personal by Lee Child (Transworld)

 

Magic FM Autobiography/Biography of the Year:ST Cleese

• The Unexpected Professor by John Carey (Faber & Faber)

• So, Anyway… by John Cleese (Penguin Random House)

• Napoleon The Great by Andrew Roberts (Penguin)

• Only When I Laugh by Paul Merton (Ebury Publishing)

• Please, Mister Postman by Alan Johnson (Transworld)

 

Food & Drink Book of the Year:images

• The Art Of Eating Well by Jasmine & Melissa Hemsley (Ebury Publishing)

• Mary Berry Cooks by Mary Berry (Ebury Publishing)

• Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes by Tom Kerridge (Bloomsbury)

• Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi (Ebury Publishing)

• River Cottage Light & Easy by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Bloomsbury)

 

Children’s Book of the Year:

• Animalium by Jenny Broom & Katie Scott (Bonnier Publishing)images (1)

• Archie Green And The Magician’s Secret by D D Everest (Faber & Faber)

• Awful Auntie by David Walliams (HarperCollins)

• Goth Girl And The Fete Worse Than Death by Chris Riddell (Pan Macmillan)

• Minecraft: The Official Construction Handbook by Matthew Neeler and Phil Southam (Egmont)

 

Audible.co.uk Audiobook of the Year:

• Awful Auntie by David Walliams (HarperCollins)images (2)

• More Fool Me by Stephen Fry (Random House Audio)

• Walking Home by Clare Balding (Penguin Audio)

• The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Whole Story Audiobooks)

• Man At The Helm by Nina Stibbe (Audible Studios)

 

International Author of the Year:

• The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson (HarperCollins)images (3)

• Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Pan Macmillan)

• A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Faber & Faber)

• The Long Haul / Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney (Penguin)

• We Are All Completely Beside Ourselved by Karen Joy Fowler (Profile Books)

 

Books Are My Bag New Writer of the Year:

• Elizabeth Missing by Emma Healey (Penguin Books)images (4)

• In The Light Of What We Know by Zia Haider Rahman (Pan Macmillan)

• Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe (Penguin Books)

• The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (Pan Macmillan)

• Wake by Anna Hope (Transworld)

 

Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year:

• The Shock Of The Fall by Nathan Filer (HarperCollins)images (5)

• Elizabeth Missing by Emma Healey (Penguin Books)

• How To Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran (Ebury Publishing)

• Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse (Orion)

• Secrets Of The Lighthouse by Santa Montefiore (Simon & Schuster UK Ltd)

 

Non-fiction Book of the Year:

• Curious by Rebecca Front (Orion)images (6)

• How To Speak Money by John Lanchaster (Faber & Faber)

• Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe (Penguin Books)

• Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine (Faber & Faber)

• Waterloo: The History Of Four Days, Three Armies And Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell (Harper Collins)

 

UK Author of the Year:

• How To Be Both by Ali Smith (Penguin General)images (7)

• The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

• Us by David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)

• The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy by Rachel Royce (Transworld)

• The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Hodder & Stoughton)

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